Web Design: Video Captioning, Audio Descriptions, and Accessible Media Players

In a world of videos, whether it is YouTube, Vimeo, or clips promoting recent achievements, the use of visual medium is a great way to share information. In this course participants will learn about transcripts, captions, and audio descriptions, and why they are not a suggestion, but the law. Examples of different captioning platforms will be shown as well as how to caption a video on your own. You will learn what things to look for in regards to media players for them to be accessible. Participants will learn about Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 guidelines and techniques regarding time-based media, captions, audio descriptions, and media players.

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Christy Blew, M.S., C.C.T.
IT Accessibility Specialist in Training and Outreach
Disability Resources and Education Services
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ann Fredricksen
Disability Specialist, Captioning and Audio Descriptions
Accessible Media Services
Disability Resources and Education Services
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Anyone responsible for posting, hosting, or creating audio or video content for online educational use.

What you will learn

  • History of captioning and Terminology
  • Laws and Standards, Benefits
  • Captioning, Transcripts, Audio Descriptions
  • Captioning Software (Commercial and Free)
  • DIY Captioning
  • Captioning a File
  • Accessible Media Players


After completing this course, participants will be able to: 

  • Explain the difference between captions, transcripts, and audio descriptions and where each would be used.
  • Explain what Section 508 and WCAG is in regards to time-based media, captions, audio descriptions, and media players.
  • Explain the benefit of captions and audio descriptions for everyone, including individuals who are not deaf/hard of hearing.
  • Explain what is the DMCP.
  • List the features you would find in an accessible media player
  • Name at least two commercial and two do-it-yourself captioning companies.
  • Create transcripts and caption videos using online captioning tools that comply with the DMCP and WCAG 2.0. 

Student Participation

  • Interactive synchronous lecture with instructor using Blackboard Collaborate.
  • In-class participation where students will visit websites and view examples of captioning, audio descriptions, and media players.
  • Student engagement in discussion of topics through IM. 
  • Badging exam and project, instructions to be provided by the instructor.


Basic word processing knowledge

Badging Requirements

  • Complete multimedia badging course completion exam
  • Complete the Watson transcript exercise (A. Walker audio)
  • Caption A. Walker video exercise
  • Transcribe and Caption 3-5 min video exercise
  • For Fun: YouDescribe